Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

article the editor shows that, while the total value of manufactured products increased during the last census decade 39.1 per cent., the population increased in the same period 20.7 per cent.

NO INCREASE IN AVERAGE WAGES.

"The test as to whether or no, or how much, this increased product really registers any perceptible increase in the national welfare, is whether it yielded a larger actual distribution among the common people. And the key to this must be found in the comparative amount of wages, and purchasing power of those wages, as expressed in the price of commodities. The total amount of wages paid in 1890 was $1,891,228,321, and in 1900 it was $2,330,273,021, showing an increase of $439,044,700, or 23.2 per cent. The number of laborers among whom this was divided was, in 1890, 4,251,613, and in 1900, 5,321,087, showing an increase of 1,069,474, or 25.2 per cent. Thus, while the increase in the amount paid in wages was large, the increase in the number of laborers is relatively larger. The total wages increased 23.2 per cent., while the number of laborers increased 25.2 per cent., showing that the rate of increase of laborers was about 8 per cent. greater than that of the wages. This is painfully emphasized by the fact that the average wages in 1890 were $444.83, and in 1900 only $437.95, or actually $6.88, or 1.5 per cent., less in 1900 than in 1890. It should be said, however, that the $444.83 for 1890 was probably too high an average, due to a different method of estimating the average number of laborers from that employed either in 1880 or 1900, and due

also to the fact that in 1890 certain relatively high- MA

salaried employees, such as salesmen, clerks, etc., were included in the wage-earning group, thus raising the general average of wages, while in 1900 these employees and their salaries were shown separately. This might account for the seeming decrease in average wages, but would still leave the figures showing practically no in

crease.

ACTUAL DECLINE IN "REAL WAGES."

"If we turn to the prices, we find, according to Dun's index number of prices of 350 articles averaged according to importance in consump. tion, that on January 1, 1890, a given amount of these products cost $90.191; and on June 1, 1900, when the census was taken, these same articles cost $91.829, showing an increase of $1.638, or 1.8 per cent. Here, then, if we take the wage averages for the two periods just as they stand, we have an actual fall of 1.5 per cent. in wages and a rise of 1.8 per cent. in prices, which means a reduction of 3.3 per cent.

in real wages, or the purchasing power of a day's work. Even assuming that there was no real fall in average wages, the decreased purchasing power of a dollar would indicate a decline of nearly 2 per cent. in real wages during the decade.

""

THE LAST CENSUS DECADE COMPARED WITH THE
PRECEDING ONE.

Comparing the results of the last census decade with the preceding one, Professor Gunton finds that, from whatever point the facts are viewed, the actual progress was greater between 1880 and 1890 than between 1890 and 1900.

"The products per capita increased just twice as fast. Nominal wages increased 28 per cent., and real wages 38 per cent. in the former period, as against practically stationary wages between 1890 and 1900, and a fall in real wages of nearly 2 per cent. The actual increase in total product was $335,281,737 greater from 1880 to 1890 than from 1890 to 1900, while the per cent. of increase was 74.5 per cent. in the former period, as against 39.1 per cent. in the latter, or nearly twice as great. Thus it will be seen that in some respects, conspicuously wage distribution, we have made no progress at all during the decade ending 1900, while in every respect,-including investment of capital, total product per capita, and purchasing power of money,-the progress of the previous decade was strikingly greater than in the last."

THE SHIPPING COMBINE.

ANY of the English periodicals indulge in more or less excited comment on what some of them are pleased to term the "Morganeering" of the ocean carrying trade, that is to say, the purchase of the White Star and other Atlantic lines by the combination headed by Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan. Mr. W. T. Stead, writing in the London Review of Reviews, is inclined to ridicule the hysterical outbursts of the British press, and to contribute what he can to the soothing of John Bull's troubled spirit. He says:

To read the excited comments of some news. papers, it would seem as if the purchase of these steamers were equivalent to the disappearance of the British flag from the seas. Questions have been asked in Parliament, ministers have been adjured to take energetic measures against the Morganization of our mercantile marine; and, in short, John Bull has uttered the same kind of incoherent ejaculations which we all indulge in when we are rudely roused from a sound sleep by an unexpected summons. There are, however, signs that the mood of indignant and irra

tional surprise is passing, and that the British public is beginning to realize somewhat of the absurdity of its momentary panic. For my part, I am utterly unable to perceive why the purchase of second-hand ships by American capitalists should be regarded as a deadly blow to British enterprise, when the very men who are making the hubbub would compass heaven and earth to secure for British shipyards American orders for building a brand new fleet.

MORGANEERING.

Trustacean attacking a ship. (Facsimile from the work of Olans Morganus Magnus: De Gintibus Steamship olinabus, 1902.) From the Westminster Gazette (London).

"Suppose that Mr. Pierpont Morgan, with ten millions sterling in his pocket, had announced that he was going to place orders for the building of first-class liners. We all know what would happen. German and British shipbuilders would compete eagerly for the privilege of executing his orders; and if he decided to place his orders with the British builders, a pæan of praise and exultation would have gone up from all our newspapers. They would have declared that the placing of such gigantic orders with British shipbuilders was the most magnificent tribute to the preeminence of British industry. They would have crowed and strutted in all their newspapers over this conclusive tribute to our preeminence in this department, and every one would have felt that we could breathe freely once more, as we were still at the top of the walk. But be cause Mr. Pierpont Morgan preferred to buy second-hand ships instead of ordering new ones, we quake in a panic. Why this should be is a mystery. The absurdity is so great that in another month we shall probably find that the panic is past, and it will not be surprising if by the end of the year we discover that Mr. Morgan has been one of our best friends.

"The Times Vienna correspondent has pointed

out that the Germans, with their usual astuteness, have been prompt to seize this momentary fit of unreason on the part of the British public in order to excite ill-feeling between the Englishspeaking nations, and many foolish persons in this country have done their best to aid the Germans in the mischievous effort. As a matter of fact, we have everything to gain and nothing to lose from the Morganization of the Atlantic ferry. As the Americans supply much the most of the freight and by far the most of the passengers, it is reasonable and natural that they should wish to own the ships. If, instead of persisting in their protective policy, they had allowed free registration of foreign-built ships under the American flag, they would long since have had Atlantic liners of their own; and as we have been perpetually objurgating them because of their persistence in this protective policy, it is extremely foolish to shriek with fear when, by a side wind, they have succeeded in acquiring control of Atlantic liners without placing them on the American registry under the American flag.

[graphic]

"The movement toward the Americanization of the Atlantic ferry compels even the most sluggish amongst us to recognize the fact that the process of Americanization is going on

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

union of the English-speaking race will be brought about on business principles; and some time in the future Mr. Pierpont Morgan, or his successor, will have to negotiate a much greater combine than any which has yet startled the world. As the White Star shareholders and Messrs. Ogden and others have found it to their interest to be merged in the American combine, so the British Empire will discover that its solid interests point not to a hopeless effort to rival the United States, but to entering the combine."

Profits and Loss of the Deal.

The Monthly Review, in an article on "Profit and Loss on the Atlantic Deal," takes rather a serious view of the effect of the Americanization of the Atlantic shipping. At the same time it points out that the fundamental facts which gov ern the situation were such as to render such a change inevitable sooner or later. Four-fifths of the freight, three-quarters of the first-class passenger fares, and more than one-half of the emigrant money which British shipowners have been earning has come out of American pockets, and the whole of this gigantic business was the product of American soil. It was gathered and transported cheaply to the coast by American enterprise, and yet for years Great Britain has been enjoying the whole of what was thus comfortably put into her pockets. It was inevitable that the moment would come when America would demand her share. The British shipowners had no option but to accept the terms which were offered, and so it is that the White Star and her sister enterprises have passed out of English control. They remain under the British flag, but only because under American navigation laws they cannot get an American register.

THE ADVANTAGES OF THE DEAL.

At the same time the Monthly Review points out that against this drawback England gains enormously by surrendering the Atlantic food supply to America. By the sacrifice of what is really a very small portion of her maritime commerce, she places her most vulnerable point under American protection. It is true that she is losing a small part of her offensive force, but by parting with it she is committing America to something like a defensive alliance. Is it, after all, a partnership that America is beginning to form, a partnership from which she will be unable or unwilling to escape? At the end of the eighteenth century, when America was still bitterly hostile to England and still warmly attached to France, war broke out between England and France. America continued to supply England with corn. A diplomatic quarrel en

sued between America and France which reached so high a pitch that America was prevented from openly joining England in the war by France. withdrawing her claims. To protect her great trade she was ready to fight her best friend by the side of her worst enemy. That trade was vital to her then, and under the new conditions it will be more than ever an essential part of her existence.

REENACT THE NAVIGATION LAWS!

But while the economic conditions determine that the true equilibrium can only be obtained when the bulk of the trade is in American hands, over nearly all the rest of the world the same conditions determine that the equilibrium should be found in British predominance. If there is any intention on the part of the Americans to spread the dominion of the great syndicate over wider seas, it is necessary to England's commercial position that she should take action on the first sign of such an intention. A simple reenactment of the old navigation laws, which prohibited the vessels of foreign countries carrying into British ports anything but their own national products, must infallibly choke out foreign competition. Without the trade between British ports, no shipping enterprise could thrive any. where but in the North Atlantic or North Pacific; and even there, by means of Canada, England holds the interior lines. By an imperial navigation law she would have at her call a force which she could mobilize by a stroke of the pen. In return for the monopoly which the state insured to the shipowners, the shipowners would have to take the state into partnership on the lines on which the guaranteed railways of India are in partnership with the Indian Government. The great lines would be subsidized, and in return for this would have to fulfill certain naval, military, and postal duties, and to submit to the control of a government director. Probably a mere preferential treatment of British ships in the matter of port duties would bring England's pushing rivals to reason. The question is one which the editor thinks could profitably be discussed at the approaching assembly of colonial statesmen.

The Alarmist View of the Question. "Calchas" contributes to the Fortnightly Review an article entitled "The Ocean Trust and National Policy," which takes a gloomy view of the situation. He maintains that England's loss of one-fifteenth of her steam tonnage, and that the best of it, is a serious matter, so serious that it threatens her maritime predominance and the maintenance of the empire. He does not think that the combination was inevitable. He thinks

councils of optimism. He thinks that Mr. Morgan is only at the beginning of his conquests.

that it could have been resisted, and ought to have been resisted. The real origin of the whole strategical scheme was the steel trust, and the shipping lines and the ocean syndicate are only the tentacles of that great octopus. "Calchas quotes Mr. Schwab's statement to an interviewer from the Koelnische Zeitung to prove that the steel trust intends to cut off the entire export of British and German iron industries in the lean years, when England will realize what American competition means as she has never done before. The syndicate is not meant to be confined to the North Atlantic. The steel trust looks to the Australian and South African markets. The acquisition of the White Star Line provides Mr. Morgan with an Australian and South African service. What we are discussing is not the insertion of the thin end of the wedge, but a blow driving up to the middle a wedge already inserted. If the nation remains passive, in ten years' time the finest passenger steamers and the largest freight fleets in the Atlantic will fly the American flag. The Belfast building agreement is simply meant to make as difficult as possible any effort on the part of English capitalists to fight the trusts. They must, however, be fought, and the hope of "Calchas" is that the syndicate may break down from over-capitalization. The German lines, with a tonnage of over a million, have only a capital of £14,000,000 ($70,000,000), while Mr. Morgan capitalizes his syndicate at £34,000,000 for a tonnage of only 648,000 tons. To some it appears as if Mr. Morgan had bought, at a price infinitely beyond its value, a mass of tonnage which in ten years will be obsolete. But "Calchas" is not disposed to rely upon these

[subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][merged small]

HOW TO FIGHT THE TRUSTS.

His advice is that England should fight the trusts, and that the British state should take the field against the American trust. The German Emperor has shown what may be done by way of prevention. "Calchas" suggests that something may well be done by way of cure. First, he would amend the law of merchant shipping so as to secure complete equality of competitive conditions between British and foreign vessels. The anomaly of the lighting dues should be abolished, and foreign vessels be compelled to submit to the same load-line regulations as those enforced on British vessels. Secondly, he would deepen British docks and harbors. Thirdly, he would grant subsidies to British shipowners, and begin by counterpoising the grant of £280,000 per annum, which has enabled German shipping to gain the ascendency in the far East. Fourthly, he would give an imperial guarantee to a new imperial steamship line running from Queenstown to Halifax in less than five days. As the nucleus of a counter-combine the Cunard and Allan lines are indispensable. If nothing but subsidies will keep them out of Mr. Morgan's hands, England must subsidize at once. Fifthly, he would reenact the navigation laws in a modified form as the only remedy which would be absolutely and instantly effective. If England levied discriminating duties upon all imports brought in foreign bottoms, an attempt of the United States to retaliate would be commercial suicide.

J. B. (to Lord C. B.): "I don't like the look of that serpent, Charlie; you might have a shot at him as well."

From Moonshine (London).

The

"Calchas" reminds us that Adam Smith regarded the navigation laws as perhaps the wisest of all the commercial regulations of England. Their revival would smash the whole theory and process of Morganeering at a single blow. navigation laws would make British ships what they would be in universal free-trade conditions, the cheapest medium of exchange. There is no greater political ideal in the world than that of Anglo-American friendship, but England will promote it far better by healthy proof of her own vigor and resources than by a spirit of maudlin resignation.

In the New Liberal Review the writer of the serial articles on The Present State of our Navy" deals with the shipping trust. His argument is that England must fight the trust by founding a line of steamers which will be free from the influence of the American railways. Halifax should be the port on the American side of the Atlantic. It is 840 miles nearer to Liverpool than is New York, and in time of steaming

[graphic]

A 25-knot

this would save a day and a half. steamer would cover the distance in four days, and the great central city of the United States, Minneapolis, could be reached at the end of six lays. Such a line of steamers would have a good influence on Canada. Six steamers would be required, costing about six millions sterling. The writer proposes that the admiralty should pay a subsidy of £70,000 a year to each steamer. Canada has already offered a subsidy of £100,000 for such a line.

THE REAL MEANING OF THE CRUELTY IN THE PHILIPPINES.

HERE is a striking article in the July McClure's by Dr. Henry C. Rowland, a young army surgeon who was detailed for duty in the Philippines, and who had unusual oppor tunities for studying the physical and mental conditions of the American soldier in those islands. Dr. Rowland's duties included attendance on great numbers of sick and wounded soldiers returning to America, and extensive field and hospital service which brought him into the most intimate personal contact with men representing all the different types of the American soldier. He returned to the United States the second time on the transport Sumner, in charge of the insane patients sent aboard by the different shore hospitals, a majority of the cases being melancholia following chronic nostalgia.

In his exceedingly plausible explanation of the horrors of Philippine warfare recently brought to us, he begins by admitting that the men who were guilty of cruelty must have approved of what they did because the American soldiers are not automata by any means.

"Reading in his morning paper of the torture and wholesale extermination of helpless Filipinos, the average New Yorker or Philadelphian thinks at once of the Tom, Dick, or Harry whom he happens to know in the Philippines, and is reassured that if only all of the men were of the type of this particular acquaintance, there would be no such disgraceful blots on the pages of the nation's recent history." But Dr. Rowland tells us that it is just such a Tom, Dick, or Harry who has done the horrible things, and he proceeds to show how it is possible.

WHAT NOSTALGIA CAN DO.

4&

When the regimental surgeon writes 'nostalgia' as the diagnosis of the patient, he has to hesitate for a moment to decide whether the more fit term might not be malingering.' At any rate, patients with the former malady do not receive any extra amount of care or atten

tion. Yet this chronic homesickness is one of the most dangerous disorders which we have to treat. It represents the solution from which might crystallize insanity. It is more dangerous in that it is so often unsuspected, and will smoulder along until it finally bursts in a flame of suicidal or homicidal mania. It accounts for more dementia than sun or fever. When a man is herded with a body of other men for a while, he begins, to a certain extent, to lose his individuality. When there is not one single familiar feature in all of his environment, this loss of a former identity is much enhanced. He begins to cease to think of himself as Jones, or Brown, or some one else, of such and such a place. He is simply a unit of a certain whole, and the discharge of his duties in this capacity grows more and more automatic. He is no longer influenced by the conditions under which he was born and bred. He ceases to be gov erned by his former code of ethics. There is nothing around him to remind him that he is himself. His principles unconsciously adjust themselves to surrounding conditions and circumstances.

MANY CASES OF SUDDEN DEMENTIA.

"One day, while on guard duty, a second sergeant of one of the companies was suddenly seized with an acute dementia. The worst feature of his case lay in the fact that at the time his belt was full of ammunition and his KragJörgenson was in his hands. He had strayed a few yards from the outposts, when, suddenly, and without the slightest warning, he threw up his piece and opened a hot, though deliberate, fire upon his comrades. The others, recognizing the situation, promptly took to cover. The cover was full of Filipinos, but that was an unimportant item the Filipinos were poor shots, the sergeant known to be a fine one. Seeing no one in sight, the madman started for the enemy's trenches at a slow run, and as he ran he howled. The last that was seen of him was as he disappeared in an intervening clump of bamboos. Two days later he returned unharmed, with but five rounds left in his belt. The dementia had passed, leaving him confused and a trifle depressed. Why he was not killed was never definitely learned. His comrades told the surgeon that for several weeks he had been moody and uncommunicative. Once or twice he had remarked that unless they went on a hike' before long he would lose his mind. His diagnosis was entered in the hospital records as acute mania,' and, there being no return of the disor der, he was in due time recorded as 'recovered.' "A few days later a corporal suddenly leaped

"

« AnteriorContinuar »